As parents we want to raise our kids to be responsible adults. This means teaching them about taking care of various things in and around the home. Here are 11 Chores Your Child Needs To Be Doing to accomplish this. Not all of these are items kids can do at all ages, but they are all things you should be teaching your children how to accomplish as they grow up.
11 Chores Your Child Needs To Be Doing
1. Picking Up After Themselves: Putting away their toys, clothing and general belongings is something every child needs to be responsible for. As they grow up, they will learn that there isn’t always going to be someone there to pick up after them. Learning to pick up their things now is important to raising them to be a responsible adult.
2. Caring For Their Belongings: Kids get toys and electronics as gifts regularly. All too often things get broken, misplaced or lost. Teach your kids to care for their belongings, and hold them accountable if something is damaged or lost. Require them to replace items themselves. Don’t cater to their mistakes and carelessness by always buying them new items when they lose something.
3. Laundry: Everyone needs to know the basics of doing laundry. Begin by teaching your kids how to sort clothes. A sorting laundry hamper is a useful item we use to help teach this. Once sorting has been learned, move on to loading the washer, transferring clothes to the dryer, and finally folding and hanging clothes. Explain why some clothing is washed on cold or hot settings, and why you want to dry and fold promptly to avoid wrinkles.
4. Dishes: Most people own a dishwasher, but loading the dishwasher is a learned skill. We have each child place their own cup, plate or bowl, and utensils into the dishwasher after each meal. They also get experience unloading the dishwasher. Even young children can sort and put away utensils. Learning the basics of hand washing dishes is also important. Remember the steps of washing cups, then utensils, then plates, and pots and pans are last.
5. Yard Work: Even if they do not actually mow the lawn, kids need to understand basic lawn care. This can come in handy as a way to care for their own property later down the road. (It could also be a means to earn extra money during the summer months.) We use a professional lawn service for mowing, but we include the kids when we trim shrubs, pull weeds, plant flowers, and add mulch to flower beds.
6. Cleaning Their Bedroom & Bathroom: Even if they don’t mind living in a pigpen, it is important to teach them that their bedroom and bathroom should be kept clean regardless. Not only are these areas presented to others when they come into your home, there are sanitary issues to consider that could make them ill. Young children can keep their toys picked up and dust low surfaces. Older children can make up their beds, vacuum, and learn to clean the entire bathroom.
7. Cooking Basic Meals: Even if they can only make basic meals like hamburgers, macaroni & cheese, heating frozen vegetables and baking potatoes they need to be able to feed themselves something more than ramen noodles or take out. Basic seasoning, cooking skills and knife skills are important. We assign one of our children each night to assist in dinner preparation. Not only does this method teach them to prepare a wide range of foods, but it’s also great one-on-one time to spend with your child.
8. Basic Sanitation: Everyone needs to understand that cleaning goes beyond just wiping a counter off. Learning how to properly sanitize counters, dishes, hands and rooms is something that every child should be taught. Use natural cleaners as they learn, and explain to them how to wipe things down and dispose of things safely.
9. Creating A Grocery List: Sitting down and making a menu plan and grocery list may seem like an odd chore, but it is truly something that everyone should be taught how to do. Explain how you need to check your pantry, freezer, or refrigerator for items you already have on hand. Young children can help read and cross off items on your shopping list while in the store. When older kids get their driver license, send them to the grocery store while you stay home and relax.
10. Budgeting Money: One of the most important things you can teach your child is how to handle their finances. An older child or teenager should be taught how to manage their money. Our children earn a weekly allowance. We encourage them to tithe 10% to our church, put 20% into savings, and they can spend the rest. Setting a purchase goal can help motivate kids to save money. Instead of purchasing that new video game they have their eye on, encourage them to save for it. We give our kids gifts at Christmas and on their birthday. Anything they want outside of that, they have to save and purchase for themselves.
11. Basic Car Maintenance: When teens begin learning to drive, they should also begin learning how to maintain a car. This doesn’t necessarily mean they have to buy oil and change it themselves. It does, however, mean they need to understand the basics of vehicle maintenance. Explain that getting the oil changed, transmission flushed, radiator flushed, belts changed, tires rotated, and a basic tune up done routinely will extend the life of their car. It’s also great to teach them how to change a tire.
These chores and life lessons will help your child to become a more responsible and respectful adult. Not only are you expanding their knowledge, you are preparing them for success as an adult.
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